Remarkable natural wonders and historic structures in China
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Check out " China" (Abbeville Press, 244 pages), a new, epic photo book that is to most coffee-table volumes what the Great Wall is to your backyard fence.
Measuring nearly 12 by nearly 18 inches and contained within a sturdy slipcase, it features 238 images -- most by photographer Ming Tan -- and 12 gatefold panoramas. Each copy of the book also comes with a numbered print, signed by Ming Tan. The price? A hefty $185.
So this is not a book for penny pinchers. Nor is it the book to buy if you want a sense of the country's vast population and ferocious contemporary energy. In fact, from these compositions you might conclude that the place is woefully underpopulated.
But that's not really a problem. The focus is on 44 remarkable locations, most of them natural wonders and historic structures, and the list reaches beyond the palaces of Beijing and the terracotta warriors of Xian to include many sites unknown to many Westerners.
The photography is top-notch. And a few of China's big cities do turn up, seething and gleaming, in the final few pages.
Give editor Guang Guo credit for pulling together a striking celebration of landscape. But before you pick up this book, do a few stretching exercises. It's that heavy.
-- Christopher Reynolds, Los Angeles Times staff writer